Photo: Ellis Hamburger, Business Insider
Motorola smartphone owners got some disappointing news today.In its new Android upgrade schedule, Motorola laid out its roadmap for when it expects the latest version of the OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, to be available for each of its devices.
In just about every case, Motorola says its users will have to wait until the middle of the summer to get Ice Cream Sandwich. For several other phones, including many still being sold in stores, Motorola doesn’t know when or if they’ll get the upgrade.
If you own a Motorola phone you should be upset. Plain and simple. Not just because many of you will be stuck on an antiquated version of Android forever, but because even if Motorola has deemed your device worthy of the upgrade, you’ll probably have to wait until July at the very earliest to get it. (Motorola pegs many devices for a ‘Q3’ upgrade.)
By the time those Motorola phones get Ice Cream Sandwich, Google will have already announced its next version of Android called Jelly Bean. A few months after that, Jelly Bean will be available for manufacturers to use on smartphones and tablets.
At Google’s big I/O conference last year, we were told things were going to get better when it comes to product upgrade cycles. There was even talk of an “Alliance” to ensure handset makers would pledge to keep their devices up to date for at least 18 months.
Now Motorola, which is on the verge of becoming Google’s own hardware company, is spitting in the face of that pledge. Even worse, it’s spitting in the face of customers who dropped hundreds of dollars on a fancy new smartphone last year. Those customers had every reason to expect their phones would be upgraded in a timely fashion, especially after all the fuss Google and its partners made about doing so.
Unless Google forces manufacturers to fall in line with an upgrade cycle, the only way you can guarantee that you’ll always have the latest version of Android is to buy one of Google’s own Nexus-branded phones. It’s the luck of the draw for everyone else, especially Motorola phone owners.